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Paper Dolls in Support of Bringing Female Condoms to NZ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5 March 2014

Paper Dolls to Be Presented to Parliament in Support of Bringing Female Condoms to New Zealand


This Friday March 7th, the eve of International Women’s Day, Positive Women Inc. will present hundreds of paper dolls to Labour MP Carol Beaumont, Spokesperson for Women's Affairs, on the steps of Parliament. Messages of support were written on the dolls by members of the New Zealand public advocating for female condoms to be made available in New Zealand.

The presentation is a culmination of Positive Women Inc’s three year Paper Doll Campaign seeking to increase the awareness, education, and availability of the female condom in New Zealand. Joining PWI in support of the campaign will be representatives from GLYDE Healthcare NZ, Body Positive, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, and the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.

Jane Bruning, National Coordinator of Positive Women Inc., the national support organisation for women and families living with HIV and AIDS, says, “The female condom gives women control over their sexual health and safety and should be an accessible option. We are thrilled that Carol Beaumont is supporting the Paper Doll Campaign”.

Female condoms are not available in New Zealand as they are not approved by MedSafe. PWI believes that due in part to their Paper Doll Campaign, MedSafe undertook a consultation on the standard for female condoms in late 2013 and has made a recommendation to the Ministry of Health. If the Ministry approves the standard, the New Zealand public could have access to female condoms this year.

Dane McIndoe, Managing Director of GLYDE Healthcare NZ, Distributor of the FC2 Female Condom says “New Zealand women should be entitled to the choice of non-medicated options surrounding their own sexual health and safety, the Female Condom does exactly that and should not only be accessible but fully funded as other condoms are.”


NOTES TO JOURNALISTS
Positive Women Inc. became involved in the promotion and education of the female condom with their participation in the international Paper Doll Campaign three years ago. At events, members of the public wrote messages of support for female condoms on paper dolls. All the paper dolls from all over the world were made into massive chains and presented at an international conference on female condoms in the Netherlands and to the UN Population Fund highlighting the growing worldwide demand for female condoms. After the campaign was finished, PWI got permission to continue the campaign nationally.

The female condom has been on the market since 1993 and the UN characterises them as essential commodities for women’s health. It protects women against pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs, and does not need to be negotiated with men to be used, can be inserted preemptively, has no side effects and you don’t have to see a health provider to get it.

PWI was selling FC2 female condoms imported from Australia but in 2012 received a strongly worded letter from MedSafe to cease or face a large fine as the selling of female condoms is illegal. The FC2 is made of nitrile, a synthetic latex that does not have the required approval. PWI has asked MedSafe if they can sell female condoms made of latex, which is what male condoms are made of, but this inquiry has been met by silence. It wasn’t long after PWI sent letters to all government officials with health portfolios asking for their support that MedSafe announced that they were undertaking a consultation process on the FC2.

Positive Women Inc. is an organisation providing support to women and families living with HIV. Positive Women Inc. also aims to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in the community through educational programmes with a focus on prevention and de-stigmatisation.

Links: www.positivewomen.org.nz
http://condoms4all.org
http://condoms4all.org/worldwide/un-commission/
http://www.unaids.org/en/aboutunaids/unaidsstrategygoalsby2015/

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